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How to Build an Economic Model in Your Spare Time

How to Build an Economic Model in Your Spare Time

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How to Build an Economic Model in Your Spare Time


Hal R. Varian
UC Berkeley December 1994 Current version: July 25, 2009

Abstract. This is an essay for Passion and Craft: Economists at Work, edited by Michael Szenberg, University of Michigan Press, 1997.


Address. Hal R. Varian, Dean, School of Information Mangement and Systems, UC Berkeley. Web page http://www.sims.berkeley.edu~hal

look for the articles about economics . insight. True. because lots of the time they end up being about economics too. . Over the years. 1. My suggestion is rather different: I think that you should look for your ideas outside the academic journals—in newspapers. In reality the process is much more haphazard than my description would suggest—the model of research that I describe is an idealization of reality. that’s the question. On the other hand. Getting ideas The first step is to get an idea. in conversations. and then look at the ones that aren’t about economics. But where to get ideas. But in my experience journals really aren’t a very good source of original ideas. in magazines. When you read the newspaper. The tricky part is to get a good idea. The way you do this is to come up with lots and lots of ideas and throw out all the ones that aren’t good. Varian Most of my work in economics involves constructing theoretical models. But there is probably enough connection with reality to make the description useful—which I hope is also true for my economic models.How to Build an Economic Model in Your Spare Time Hal R. and in TV and radio programs. But most of the time you will only get someone else’s ideas. This is not all that hard to do. . I have developed some ways of doing this that may be worth describing to those who aspire to practice this art. You can get lots of things from journal articles—technique. much like the economic models that I create. even truth. but the reason they are loose is probably that the author thought about them a while and couldn’t figure out what to do with them or decided they were too tedious to bother with—which means that it is likely that you will find yourself in the same situation. a shallower analysis may be more 1 . Magazines are usually better than newspapers because they go into issues in more depth. they may leave a few loose ends lying around that you can pick up on. Most graduate students are convinced that the way you get ideas is to read journal articles.

during sales) but why they were ever high. If you can’t do this it’s probably not a very good idea. And. Commerce is conducted in many ways. Much to my delight the general pattern of pricing was similar to that predicted by the model. are often very fruitful. the Wall Street Journal and the Economist. Once I developed the model I had a research assistant go through a couple of years’ worth of the Ann Arbor News searching for the prices of color TVs.. I did manage to get a pretty good deal on the TV I eventually bought. and most of them have never been subjected to a serious economic analysis. If you can phrase But which sources to read? I read the New York Times. Of course you have to be careful not to believe everything you hear— people in business usually know a set of rules that work well for running their own business.stimulating: there’s nothing like a fallacious argument to stimulate research. Is your idea worth pursuing? So let’s assume (a favorite word of economists) that you have an idea. One of my favorite pieces of my own work is the paper I wrote on “A Model of Sales”.e. these are probably good places to start. especially with people in business. 2. In my model there were two kinds of consumers: informed consumers who read the ads and uninformed consumers who didn’t read the ads. and this is really what economists tend to find interesting. 1 2 . How do you know if it is any good? The first test is to try to phrase your idea in a way that a non-economist can understand. otherwise the stores would never find it profitable to charge a high price. In many cases your ideas can come from your own life and experiences. It occurred to me that the challenge to economics was not why the prices were sometimes low (i.1 Conversations. but they often have no idea of where these rules come from or why they work. I was able to generate a model of sales. I had decided to get a new TV so I followed the ads in the newspaper to get an idea of how much it would cost. yes. Armed with this insight. Who would be so foolish as to buy when the price was high since everyone knew that the item would be on sale in a few weeks? But there must be such people. I noticed that the prices fluctuated quite a bit from week to week. The stores had sales in order to price discriminate between the informed and uninformed consumers.

Eventually you should do a thorough literature review. If you look at what someone else did your thoughts will be shaped too much by their views—you are much more likely to be original if you plunge right in and try to develop your own insights. So try it out on a few people—see if they think that it is worth pursuing. produce something new and interesting. Even if you end up reproducing exactly something that is in the literature already you will have learned a lot by doing it—and you can feel awfully good about yourself for developing a publishable idea! (Even if you didn’t get to publish it yourself . your ideas need time to incubate. However. no one will care whether it is correct or not. 3. but I think that you will do much better if you work on your idea for a few weeks before doing a systematic literature search. There are several reasons for delay. you should stop to ask whether it is interesting. you might come up with a different approach than is found in the literature. Third. but at least there’s hope. The greatest compliment is “Ah! So that explains it!” That’s what you should be looking for—forget about the “nice solid work” and try to become a Wizard of Ahs. ) Second. First. of course. When you read what others have done their ideas can interact with yours and. Before you start trying to decide whether your idea is correct. . hopefully. Make sure that the expected benefits cover that opportunity cost. you need the practice of developing a model. so you want to start modeling as early as possible. One of the primary purposes of economic theory is to generate insight. it still may be a lousy idea. If it isn’t interesting. 3 .it in a way that a noneconomist can understand. my advice is to wait a bit before you look at the literature. What would follow from this idea if it is correct? Would it have lots of implications or would it just be a dead end? Always remember that working on this particular idea has an opportunity cost—you could be spending your time working on a different idea. . Don’t look at the literature too soon The first thing that most graduate students do is they rush to the literature to see if someone else had this idea already.

but his model was “much more complex”. I replied “My model was complex when I started.” A model is supposed to reveal the essence of what is going on: your model should be reduced to just those pieces that are required to make it work. but I just kept working on it till it got simple!” And that’s what you should do: keep at it till it gets simple. They make choices in order to advance their objectives. Einstein once said “Everything should be as simple as possible . . and see if it still exhibits some interesting behavior. See what is common to your examples. too. stupid. linear utility—whatever it takes to get to something simple enough to see what is going on.4. One of the faculty in the audience interrupted me to say that he had worked on something like this several years ago. Building your model So let’s skip the literature part for now and try to get to the modeling. but no simpler. Once you’ve got an example. If it does. Several years ago I gave a seminar about some of my research. then you can try to write down a model. This basic structure suggests a plan of attack: Who are the people making the choices? What are the constraints they face? How do they interact? What adjusts if the choices aren’t mutually consistent? Asking questions like this can help you to identify the pieces of a model. 4 . Lucky for you. Most students think that the next stage is to prove a theorem or run a regression. The critical advice here is KISS: keep it simple. then make it even simpler. Once you’ve got a pretty good idea of what the pieces look like. work another one. No! The next stage is to work an example. I started out with a very simple example. . The choices have to satisfy various constraints so there’s something that adjusts to make all these choices consistent. then another one. Write down the simplest possible model you can think of. you can move on to the next stage. Take the simplest example—one period. There are some economic agents. 2 people. The whole point of a model is to give a simplified representation of reality. Is there something interesting happening here? When your examples have given you an inkling of what is going on. all economics models look pretty much the same. 2 goods.

Well. Making mistakes This process—simplify to get the result. Here is where your education can be helpful. it will now be much easier to see how to generalize it since you know what the key pieces are that make the model work. Most likely your model is a special case of one of these general models. game theory and so on. As Piet Hein puts it: The road to wisdom? We’ll it’s plain and simple to express: Err and err and err again but less and less 5 . 5. Over the last fifty years economists have come up with some very general principles and models. Along the way. The professor probably told you that these were very general models that could encompass lots of special cases. But keep at it! If it were easy to do. complexify to see how general it is—is a good way to understand your model. and general fumbling around. But if you have made your model as simple as possible. and producer choice. 6. Generalizing your model Suppose that you’ve finally made your model as simple as possible. and all that technique you learned can help you analyze your model. it would have already been done. Most of the time you were a student you probably studied various canonical models: things like consumer choice. Most of the time that I spend modeling is involved in this back-and-forth process.This takes a surprisingly long time—there are usually lots of false starts. I make a lot of mistakes. general equilibrium. If so you can immediately apply many of the results concerning the general model to your special case. At last you can use all those techniques you learned in graduate school. frustrating diversions. it was all true. At this point your model is probably too simple to be of much interest: it’s likely just an example or a special case.

If so. Hey. Eventually. and much clearer. hoping to find what’s really inside that stubborn block of marble. and a little bit there. if you really followed the advice I gave you above to keep it simple. Tell your professors about what you’ve discovered—nine times out of ten they’ll tell you to look in the “1983 AER” or “Econometrica 77” or some textbook (maybe even one of mine). congratulations— you would never have found this if you did the literature search right away. maybe the idea is just off the wall. I choose the analogy with sculpting purposely: like sculpture most of the work in building a model doesn’t consist of adding things. This back-and-forth iteration in building a model is like sculpting: you are chipping away a little bit here. you want to see what you missed. I normally walk around in a bit of a daze at this stage. no one said research would be easy. Maybe what you’ve figured out is not already in the literature. On the other hand. The next possibility is that you are wrong. And lots of the time they’ll be right. you may have a worthwhile insight. But this is a point where you really have a chance to learn something—read the article(s) carefully and ask yourself “Why didn’t I do that?” If someone started with the same idea as you and carried it further. if you’re lucky. If so. You’ll look there and find “your” model—but it will be much better done. and I try not to get too far away from a yellow pad. 7. it consists of subtracting them. This is the most fun part of modeling. the inner workings of your model will reveal itself: you’ll see the simple core of what’s going on and you’ll also understand how general the phenomenon really is. much more fully developed. 6 . Maybe your analysis isn’t right. Maybe you’ve got a new angle on an old idea that is worth further exploration. and it can be very exciting when the form of the idea really begins to take shape. maybe you’ve found something that is more general. Or. you may have come up with something that is much clearer than the current treatments.and less. Go back to your advisor and tell him or her what you have found. Searching the literature At this point you can start doing your literature search.

So you have to go back to trying to figure out what you really are talking about: what is the fundamental idea of your model? 8. But most people don’t have to listen to you. . Maybe there’s a nice clear trail just a few feet away that you’ve totally missed. and organized—and the experience that you gain by doing this is extremely useful for writing your paper. literally. This is because a talk forces you to get to the point. whoever you can get to listen. talk to your fellow students. and the students get examined on it. or pet. you may think something is obvious when it really isn’t. This is a really important phase: the more you can talk about your work. Talk to your advisor. So at this point you’ve got to start getting some independent judgment of your work. neighbor. you’ve got to make your idea clear. . . talk to your wife. . And here’s what you’ll find: they’ve got no idea of what you are talking about (especially your pet). too: my colleagues get paid to do it. They won’t even have to glance at the abstract unless they have a reason to. When you’ve worked on a topic for several months—or even several weeks—you tend to lose a lot of perspective . Giving a seminar After you’ve bored your friends. This comes as a big shock to most graduate students. It may be obvious to you. husband. girlfriend. the better the final paper will be. concise. but you’ve been thinking about this issue for several months—it probably isn’t so obvious to someone who doesn’t have the benefit of that experience. Lots of people listen to stupid ideas from me. This lack of perspective takes one of two forms: first. This brings me to another common problem. They don’t have to read your paper.This is where your advisor can play a big role. I listen to a lot of stupid ideas—but that’s what I’m paid to do. They think that just because they’ve put a lot of work and a lot of thought into their paper that the rest of the world 7 . If you’ve really made your analysis as simple as possible. You’re just too close to the work to really get a picture of what is going on. The other possibility is that you may think something is complicated when it is really obvious—you’ve wandered into a forest via a meandering path. If you want your audience to listen to you. boyfriend. and b) any errors that remain will be easier to find. you should give seminar. it is a) less likely to contain an error. relatives and pets to death.

) As the mathematician R. it isn’t so. My advise: say a few sentences about the big picture and then get down to business: show them what you’ve got and why it’s important. H. Herb Simon once said that the fundamental scarcity in the modern world was scarcity of attention—and brother. believe it or not. Bing once said: “When I was young. the content. The useful thing about a seminar is that you get immediate feedback from the audience. An audience won’t put up with a lot of the things that authors try to write in papers: turgid prose. you have to give them a reason to do so. There are three parts to a seminar: the introduction. the most common problem is letting the seminar trail off into silence. The primary reason to get down to business right away is that your audience will only remember about twenty minutes of your talk—and that is usually the first twenty minutes. So make sure that you get some useful information into that first twenty minutes. I always like to spend the last couple of minutes summarizing 8 . so be sure to exploit this opportunity to get people to listen to you. I imagine that most assistant professors have this problem.” Giving lectures is a bit like eating oysters. it can be hard to stop.is obliged to pay attention to them. As for conclusions. There are demands for everybody’s attention. In fact. but after many years of giving lectures before several hundred students it goes away. Controlling the audience I’ve seen it claimed that one of the greatest fears that most people have is speaking before a group. Alas. and tedious details. I would rather give a lecture on mathematics than listen to one. and if you want someone to pay attention to you. readers won’t put up with these things either! The trick is to use the seminar to get all those things out of your paper—that way. is that the truth. Now that I am older and more mature I would rather give two lectures on mathematics than listen to one. but after you develop a taste for them. I have seen many seminars ruined by long. lecturing can become downright addictive (as my family often reminds me. This can ruin a good talk. and the conclusion. And. A seminar is a way to get them to pay attention. complex notation. My advice about introductions is simple: don’t have one. Your first one requires some courage. contentless introductions. pretentious. it may actually get read.

They won’t hear your message if they are sleeping. so you might as well tell them what they should remember rather than make them figure this out for themselves.what I accomplished and why the audience should care. When you do this you will certainly get questions like “Will this generalize to n agents?” or “Have you corrected for heteroskedasticity?” If you know the answer to the question. a regression. If you don’t know the answer—or the question is totally off the wall—say “That’s a good question. Once you’ve presented your result and you see that the audience has understood the point—their heads are nodding but not nodding off—you can go on to the generalizations and elaborations. That way you will be forced to get to your contribution sooner rather than later. Spell out each aspect of your result in excruciating detail so no one can possibly misunderstand. The downside of this is that the seminar isn’t very spontaneous—but the upside is that the seminar is usually better organized. whatever. If you’ve done a good job at establishing your credibility initially now the audience will believe anything you say! Of course you shouldn’t abuse this trust.) Don’t get sidetracked: the point of going through the initial result in great detail is to establish credibility. So don’t lose control of your seminar! The key to maintaining control is to establish credibility early on. This is the fundamental reason for starting simple: if you start out with a delicate argument. go ahead and answer it. a diagram. use large type and don’t try to say too much on each one. There are two things to avoid in your presentation: don’t let your audience go to sleep. it will be hard for the audience to understand and you will never establish trust. When you are done with your talk you should take a few minutes to jot down some notes: what was difficult for people to understand? what questions did they ask? what 9 . You want the audience to hear what you have to say. but it is useful to exploit it in the rest of your presentation.” (Of course you never will. After all. let me come back to that at the end of the seminar. And make your overheads big. this is what they will walk away with. and they won’t hear your message if they are talking more than you are. Nowadays everyone seems to use overheads for their lectures. My advice is to limit yourself to one or two slides for a introduction and one for a conclusion. The way to do is to go into great detail in the presentation of your first result—a theorem. and don’t let them get too lively.

add 2 If a train stops at a train station.txt file: this contains my initial ideas. but that’s the cost of being on the bleeding edge of technology. but quite often you won’t. In the following days and weeks I occasionally take a look at this outline. Planning your paper Almost everyone writes on computers these days. (For example. which are usually pretty sketchy. this paper is in a directory Papers/how-I-work. The audience is a very useful resource for clarifying your thoughts—make sure you use it well.2 I thought that I would spend a bit of time talking about how I use computers. and I figure I can save time by pointing them to this article. I know that computers are great time savers: I get almost as much work done now as I got done before I started using computers. but most of what I say applies equally well to other environments. When I look at it I move things around. Since I am well known as a computer nerd. the notes. For example.) When I create the directory I create a notes. I currently use a Unix machine. I have a directory on my computer called Papers and when I start to work on a new topic I create a subdirectory under papers. not because it is all that important. what do you think happens at a work station? 10 . but because no one else in this collection will discuss such mundane matters. they won’t read it I create a notes file like this when I first start to work on a topic—I jot down the initial ideas I have. whatever.suggestions did they make? what references did they give you? You may think that you will remember these points. 9.txt file for this paper initially had entries in it like: *read the newspaper *simplify *write and talk **if you don’t grab them in the first page. a rough outline. people always ask me what I use. Undoubtedly this will all look incredibly archaic in a few years.

I next check this draft into a revision control system. read it with a fresh mind and revise it accordingly. 11 . Once the paper is written I put it aside for a couple of weeks. When I’m done with this process I have a first draft. I then repeat the process: let the paper sit for a few more weeks or months. This is a piece of software that keeps track of the revisions of a paper. Can you answer their questions in your paper? Can you incorporate their suggestions? Be sure to modify the notes/outline/slides for your talk when you incorporate the audience’s suggestions. When I come back to the paper I try to read it with a fresh mind. 3 This is much easier once you reach middle age. I might want those notes again. Remember those notes I told you to write after your seminar ended? Sit down with the paper and go over the questions the audience had and the suggestions they made.3 On rare occasions I like what I read. it gives your subconscious mind a chance to work on the idea—maybe it will come up with something your conscious mind has missed. After organizing these ideas for several weeks or months I am ready to write the first draft of the paper. I use the Unix utility rcs but I know there are many other systems available. More importantly. but the flavor is often enhanced. I normally put the notes in one window and the paper in the other and write the paper while I refer back and update the notes to keep them in sync with the paper. After all. or whatever is necessary to make the paper clearer. Papers need to age like fine cheese—it’s true that mold might develop. like someone who has never seen it before. It documents all of the changes you make and allows you to restore any previous version of a paper. then come back to it. Whenever I have to pause and think “what does that mean?” I rewrite—I add more explanation. but usually I have lots of criticisms. Revision control systems are especially valuable if you are working with a coauthor since they keep track of which person made which changes when. I usually try to do this in a day or two.material and so on. I rarely take anything out completely—I just move material to the end of the file. It is particularly useful to do a revision right after you give a seminar. to keep it all fresh. change the notation.

” As you look at these articles you will see a few “classic” articles cited. one way is to ask people: your adviser. When you want to refer to a paper you use the key. only a handful of readers can understand. You assign a key to each article like Arrow70 or ArrowRisk. Often you can download the citations you get directly into your bibliography database program. But the introduction is the most important part 12 . You can open the CD for the Journal of Economic Literature. However. The structure of the paper There’s an old joke about academic papers.Bibliographic software One very useful computer tool is a bibliographic system. since it works well with TEX. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of using a system like this. But where do you get your references in the first place? Well. everyone can understand. The last part no one can understand—that’s how the readers know it’s a serious piece of work! The big mistake that authors make these days is to leave out the first part of the paper— that part that everyone can understand. When you identify these classic articles go to the Social Science Citation Index and search for all the recent papers that have cited these classics. your friends. Over the years you will build up a comprehensive bibliography for the areas you work in. This is a piece of software designed to manage a list of references. your colleagues. 10. and so on. There is a master database of references that is stored on your computer. I use the system called BibTEX. The second. there are many other systems available that work for other wordprocessing packages. type in a few key words like “price discrimination” and get the last 10 years worth of abstracts of published articles that contain the words “price discrimination. This is still one of the most reliable ways. by saying something like \cite{Arrow70}. The first part. The bibliographic program then looks up the appropriate citation in your database and puts it in the list of references at the end of your article. This process should give you an up-to-date bibliography pretty quickly. But nowadays there are a number of computerized databases available online or on CDs that allow for easy search. They are all supposed to have three parts.

people won’t have to listen to your seminar to find out what you have done: they can just read it in your paper. 6: 1. Once you’ve made your point. Once your paper is written. you can submit it to a journal. Get to the point. End with a summary of what you have accomplished.) If you’ve followed my advice. Tell people why what you did is important after you’ve done it. If you have really written a good paper. Put the tedious stuff in the appendix. When to stop You can tell when your work is getting ready for publication by the reactions in the seminars: people stop asking questions. Dan Hamermesh has written a nice article that describes the procedure better than I can. you’ve already asked their questions—and answered them—in your paper. Nothing turns off an editor or a referee more than to find typos. 13 . My basic advice is to make your paper look like your talk. Hamermesh. Keep it simple. (Or at least. Use examples. missing references and sloppy editing in the articles they deal with. the people who have read your paper stop asking questions.4 All I can say is to echo his advice that you go over the article with a fine tooth comb before sending it in. If you really know what your paper is about. I don’t have too much to say about this. You’ve got to grab the reader on the first page. And no one will read it if you don’t get their interest in the first few paragraphs. 4 Daniel S.of the paper. stop. You should be able to say most of what you want to say in that length. it won’t be noticed if no one reads it. 169–180. No matter how brilliant the rest of the paper is. “The Young Economist’s Guide to Professional Etiquette”. I said earlier that people only remember about 20 minutes of your seminar (if you’re lucky). 11. Journal of Economic Perspectives. and they only remember about 10 pages of your paper. Lots of papers drag on too long. you shouldn’t find it hard to explain this to your readers in a couple of paragraphs.

and the year after that another 50. and what was too simple. it just happened.” This was great advice. but later. The students who used them were great. what was too advanced. The text. I followed it to some degree with the graduate text. and a few journal articles. I did have some class notes that I had been working on for a few years.12. During this period I happened to meet Richard Hamming. Every now and then I go through a few issues of the AER and note topics that should go in the next edition of the book. He gave me a key piece of advice: “Get together the problems that you want your students to be able to solve after they’ve read your book—and then write the book that will teach them how to solve them. I followed it religiously—but more about that below. where the errors were.” 6 The general principle that I followed (and still follow) with the graduate text is that it should give the student the information they need to know to read a microeconomics paper in the American Economic Review. The reader may recall Disraeli’s warning: “An author who speaks about his own books is almost as bad as a mother who talks about her own children.6 One day a publisher came into my office and asked (as they often do) “Are you writing a book?” I said that would be a silly thing for an assistant professor to do—but as a matter of fact. an electrical engineer who had written several texts. I owe much of the success of that book to the fact it was class tested before a highly critical audience. The first year I wrote about 50 pages. The notes were awfully sketchy. But I suppose I really should say a bit about the other kind of writing I’ve done: textbooks. such as it was. the next year another 50. maybe 40 pages of notes from Dan McFadden and Sid Winter. and the journal articles were much too advanced for first year students. consisted of about 20 pages of notes written by Bob Hall. So I had to write my own notes for the students. 5 14 . when I wrote the undergraduate text. Microeconomic Analysis really wasn’t planned.5 My first text. When I first started my professional career at MIT in 1973 I was asked to teach the first year graduate micro course. They read them carefully and told me what was wrong: where the obscurities were. Writing textbooks Most of what I’ve had to say so far has to do with writing articles.

Next thing I knew. You want the students to be able to use the material you teach them. If the students weren’t able to solve the problems. The student found this very helpful in understanding the concepts of economics. it wasn’t quite as serious as I had expected—in fact. I think that it is quite funny. I had to add explanations to the text until they could—and if we couldn’t create a problem to illustrate some point. So I asked my colleague Ted Bergstrom if he would like to work with me to create a serious workbook. as Hamming suggested. I wanted to write an undergraduate book because I was fed up with the books I had been using. I created problems too. but those were automatically coordinated with the textbook—the external stimulus imposed by Ted’s problems was much more important in shaping the content of the book. I remember one semester I sat down and tried to write a midterm exam—but the book I had been using was so vapid that I couldn’t think of any problems that the students could solve using the tools that had been presented in the book! At that point I figured I could produce something better. Problems in Microeconomics. The latest buzzword in As it turned out. so the first order of business is to figure out what it is that you want them to be able to do. I spent a semester at Berkeley in 1977 and used that opportunity to hammer them into shape. but couldn’t find any I really liked. Much to my surprise the notes eventually become a book and ended up being very widely used. It’s a pity that most workbooks are created as afterthoughts.7 Ted created problems as the text was being written. About the same time one of my undergraduates had picked up a workbook by Marcia Stigum called. I did a second edition in 1983 and I should have done a revision in 1987 or so—but instead I decided to write an undergraduate text. 7 15 . but that is due to Ted’s unique sense of humor rather than my intentions. I had several publishers interested in my notes. I believe. I had tried several different ones. and I had to make sure that the text contained everything necessary to solve the problems he created. and I remembered what Hamming had told me about how to write a textbook. Creating the workbook really should be an integral part of the writing process. the point probably wasn’t important enough to put in the text.

• Model your paper after your seminar. And now my points have been made. And the workbook has ended up selling two or three times as much as any of its competitors—which goes to show that there still is a market for a quality product in the textbook market. • First make your model as simple as possible. Go forth and model! 16 . so I’m duty bound to stop. The undergraduate text turned out to be pretty successful as well. Summary I said that every talk should have a summary—so I suppose I have to follow my own advice. Here are the points to take away: • Look for ideas in the world. • Look at the literature later. not in the journals. • Stop when you’ve made your point. not sooner. then generalize it. 13.education is “learning by doing” but as far as I’m concerned that’s always been the only way to go.

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